The best paint is the one that gives you the best outcome for the amount of money that you are willing to spend.
Fundamentally, acrylic paint is glue with coloured grit suspended in it. The good quality paints have a large amount of grit (or pigment), and the binders are designed to last a long time.
In my opinion, they feel fantastic to use. However, the most expensive paint is not always the best. It all depends on what you are trying to do.
If you are quickly throwing some colour down, and you just want to poke some paint around for fun, you don't need to spend a lot of money.
Cheap acrylic paint will fade, and it will re-activate. This is because the binders are poor quality, and don't "lock" the pigment. This is fine if you are not trying to paint over it. (Even sealing it can often cause it to run).
Make sure though that you don't ever use poor quality paint in anything you are attempting to sell. Strangely, people get upset when they spend money on something and it fades in a week, or runs because of the humidity.
My advice is to purchase the best paint that will do the job you need it to do. For example, if you plan on being able to use your acrylic paint like oils, I would suggest that you purchase something like Atelier Interactive by Chroma.
This will allow you to reactivate the paint (for a period) and gives you a little more control. For those of you who aren't aware, "re-activating" means being able to re-mobilise the paint, even after it appears to have dried. This allows you to blend colours easily, and gives you a little more time.
If you are happy to use traditional acrylic paints, there are dozens of other products on the market that will do a great job.
My second piece of advice is………. spend as much as you can afford to get the best paint for you. Good artist quality acrylic paints are easier to use, and will make the process more fun. Unfortunately you get what you pay for in most cases. Are you trying to create a nice painting? Or…….. ????
Student quality paints are often a great alternative if you want the feel of artist quality paint and you are still developing your skills. Just remember that like all paints, there is student quality, and then there is rubbish student quality. Price is generally a good indicator of the former (and the latter). Do plenty of research, and experiment to find which is the best paint for you when starting out.
In reality, the best paint is a subjective thing. It needs to do the job that you personally need it to do. And it needs to be affordable. Find the balance between these two, and you are somewhere close to a Good Thing. Probably the most important thing to remember is that painting should be fun, and whatever you use should support that.
Don't be afraid to ask for other peoples' opinions, and experiment, experiment, experiment! Fun.
It's also not a bad idea to buy a tube from several different companies and push them around for a bit. You will fairly quickly get a sense of what is the best paint for you.
Because I make my living from painting, I need to use artist quality paint. I also happen to love using it! There is something very decadent about the feel of moving great quality paint around. You really can feel the difference.
My choice of paint makes me more prolific. I get more work done. And so Nic tells me, this can only be a Good Thing.
Enjoy discovering which paints work best for you!